Der aye, durust aye
(better late than never), said Prime Minister Manmohan Singh as he launched the Urdu channel of Doordarshan in New Delhi on Tuesday.
In a jocular vein, he asked 60 years have passed since Independence, but why did it take so long to start Doordarshan's Urdu channel.
"May be we can take comfort from the saying der aye, durust aye", he said.
"From slogans to ghazals, from poetry and writings to sufi songs, Urdu has been the part and parcel of the rich Indian culture," the Prime Minister said.
The rich historic and cultural traditions expressed by the Urdu language has bound the people together across the length and breadth of the country and played a lead role in promoting Indianness and secularism, Singh said on the occasion.
Quoting renowned poets, the Prime Minister said Urdu literature, its jokes and vocabulary enriched itself by incorporating values from different Indian languages like Awadhi and Brajbhasha to Telugu and Punjabi, besides drawing vividly from the rich Persian language.
Recalling the thrust given to the Indian freedom struggle by the language, Singh said the slogan Inquilab Zindabad (Long Live Revolution) gave a major boost to the movement.
Similarly, he said the revolutionaries took strength from couplets like sarfaroshi ki tamanna ab hamare dil me hai, dekhna hai zor kitna bazu-e-qatil me hai.
UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi and Union Ministers Arjun Singh, Shivraj Patil, PR Dasmunsi, S Jaipal Reddy, Saifuddin Soz, E Ahamed and Prithviraj Chavan were present at the function.